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Guide to the Listen to This: Crown Heights Oral History collection 2010.020

Brooklyn Historical Society
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Brooklyn Historical Society

Collection processed by Brett Dion

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on May 22, 2017
Finding aid written in English using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

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Lipkind, Arna, 2010 May 17

Biographical / Historical

Arna Lipkind was born circa 1958 and raised in a suburb of Detroit, Michigan. She graduated from Seaholm High School and received a bachelor's degree in Special Education from Michigan State University. Lipkind moved to the Crown Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn to teach, and also to attend a continuing education program provided by the Lubavitcher Rebbe that focused on religion. In 1990, she began volunteering for New York State Senator Marty Markowitz and supported him through his Borough Presidency until 2004. She was the Community Liaison for New York State Assemblymember Karim Camara from 2006 to 2009, Community Liaison for the New York City Council from 2009 to 2014 and District Manager of the same council from 2009 onward. She's an honoree of the Crown Heights Community Leadership Council, a wife to community activist Rabbi Reuven Lipkind and a mother of six.

Scope and Contents

In the interview, Arna Lipkind describes the moment she heard the car crash that partly instigated the 1991 riot in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Crown Heights. She discusses her involvement in positive community dialogue as well as misperceptions between African American, Caribbean and Jewish communities, and Marty Markowitz's group forum "Can We Talk." Lipkind speaks about her lifestyle as a Hasidic Jewish woman in Crown Heights. She speaks at length on the differences in the Jewish sects of New York City. Lipkind emphasizes what her mentors have given her. Finally, she advises that learning happens every day and that is important to learn from people of "different backgrounds." Interview conducted by Ansie Montilus, Monica Parfait, Treverlyn Dehaarte, and Alex Kelly.

Conditions Governing Access and Use

Access to the interview is available onsite at the Brooklyn Historical Society's Othmer Library. Use of the oral histories other than for private study, scholarship, or research requires the permission of BHS. For assistance, contact

Subject Names

  • Cato, Gavin
  • Lipkind, Arna
  • Markowitz, Marty
  • Schneerson, Menachem Mendel

Subject Organizations

  • Congregation Lubavitch (Crown Heights, New York, N.Y.)

Subject Topics

  • African American neighborhoods -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • African Americans -- Relations with Jews
  • Community activists -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Community development -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Education
  • Ethnic neighborhoods -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Hasidim -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Jewish neighborhoods -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Jewish religious education
  • Jews -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Jews -- New York (State) -- New York
  • Judaism -- Hasidic rite
  • Multiculturalism
  • Race relations -- United States
  • Riots -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Women and religion -- New York (State) -- New York

Subject Places

  • Brooklyn (New York, N.Y.) |x Religious life and customs
  • Brooklyn (New York, N.Y.) |x Social life and customs
  • Crown Heights (New York, N.Y.)
  • Michigan